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Azeez Ojulari designated to return to practice; Tommy DeVito to start vs. Cowboys


Coach Brian Daboll announced a series of roster moves as the Giants ramp up preparations for Sunday's game in Dallas.

Outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari will be designated to return to practice. The third-year pro had been on injured reserve and has not played since Week 5 with an ankle injury. He also missed Weeks 2-3 with a hamstring issue.

Daboll also said that Tommy DeVito will start Sunday's game in Dallas, while Matt Barkley will serve as the backup quarterback. DeVito will be the first rookie free agent to ever start a regular-season game for the Giants in the common draft era (except for Jim Crocicchia in a 1987 strike-replacement game).

"It's going to be a little different for him, obviously," Daboll said about DeVito taking practice reps with the starters for the first time this week. "He was up here early yesterday on the players off day, and I'd say we met for a while. He's putting everything he has into it. He's looking forward to the opportunity and he'll be out there with the first group, we had a good walkthrough with him so he's doing everything he can do to put himself in a good position to be ready to go."

"It feels good," DeVito added. "Just taking everything one play at a time, one meeting at a time, one day at a time and that's it. Just leaning on my teammates around me."

Filling in for the injured Daniel Jones last week in Las Vegas, DeVito completed 75 percent of his passes for 175 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions and added 17 yards on the ground.

"I think the Jets game was what it was with that weather situation and everything that went on and then getting thrown into it again the second quarter, kind of figured out what they were doing as the game was going on and in the second half everything kind of just calmed down," the rookie QB said about his performance in Week 9. "We got into how we were playing and how we were supposed to be playing, but it was a little bit too late."

"He's a competitive young man, and again he's handled himself the right way in terms of being a young player in a room with two veteran guys and has done everything we've asked him to do, so he'll have his opportunity and he's going to do everything he can do to make the most of it." said Daboll.

DeVito originally signed with the Giants on May 3. He spent training camp with the team and played in all three preseason games, finishing with 453 passing yards, two touchdowns and a 67.2 completion percentage.

He was then waived on August 29 before signing to the practice squad the following day.

"I think they've got a lot of respect for DeVits," the head coach said about the locker room rallying around the rookie. "He's done everything we've asked him to do. I think he's done a great job on the look teams when he's out there. He's done a great job giving the defense looks. He's thrown the ball well in these periods and he works at it. So, I think there's a lot of respect.

"But again, he's a young player. His focus is really let's make sure I have the plays down that I want in, that we think is good versus this defense, let's make sure I can communicate in a huddle, let's take care of all the pre-snap stuff that you have to do as a quarterback before the play even starts. So, that gives all the other 10 guys a chance to be successful and focus on doing his job as good as he can do it."

On Tuesday, the Giants also signed Jacob Eason, another quarterback and 2020 fourth-round draft choice, to the practice squad.

View photos of every move made by the Giants during the 2023 cycle.


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